August 20, 2009
A recent review by the UK Foods Standards Agency came out claiming that organic foods are no better than the less expensive conventionally grown foods. A closer look at that review reveals some truths underlying the growing media attention and debate over whether or not organic foods are worth the extra buck. I am re-printing an excellent post on this topic by Tom Philpott who farms and cooks at Maverick Farms, a sustainable-agriculture nonprofit and small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
One of the key messages I received while researching this topic is that organic foods consistently contain a higher level of tertiary, phytochemicals then conventionally grown foods. These phytochemicals (e.g. resveratrol, chlorophyll, glucosinolates) hold as much, if not more promise for preventing and treating disease then the basic nutritional compounds that are used to test the benefit of one food over another.
A bit of nitrogen with those veggies?
A recent literature review by the U.K. Food Standards Agency concluded that organic foods offer no nutritional advantages to ones grown with conventional chemical agriculture. The report quickly bounced around the media and the internet and has congealed into received wisdom. For example, in a recent chat with readers, Washington Post food politics columnist (and general policy writer) Ezra Klein engaged in the following exchange:
Santa Fe, N.M.: I saw a report today on a study finding that organic food isn’t any healthier than conventional food. Is buying organic a waste of money, in your opinion? Read the rest of this entry »
July 22, 2009
Food Democracy Now and Organic Valley Family of Farms just released a call for help to rescind an anti-labeling law and prevent further regulations in Ohio that will restrict organic dairy farmers from labeling their products as free from the synthetic hormone rGBH.
According to Food Democracy Now, there was a small group of corporations that pushed a law through last year making it illegal for organic farmers, such as Organic Valley Family of Farms, to label their products as free from artificial hormones. On July 23rd the International Dairy Foods Association and Organic Trade Association will have a joint mediation with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to decide whether this rule go into effect.
To take action, call Ohio Governor Strickland and ask him to rescind Executive Order 2008-03S. Phone calls make the most impact so call today if it is important to you to know what is in the food you consume. His office # is: 614-466-3555.
I just saw the movie Food Inc. which is a revealing look into the reality behind how the food you consume and feed your loved ones is produced. It is worth the time and energy, and offers hope and action steps you can take to improve the quality of our food supply.
This post is timely, as discussions are in full gear regarding healthcare reform in California and in the country. Let’s focus on the cause of most chronic illness (which incidentally costs our government the most amount of money to manage), rather then masking the symptom by ensuring that all citizens receive the same level of healthcare which has failed miserably at treating chronic illness. The foods we eat play the largest role in preventing and treating chronic illnesses such as heart disease and obesity. Removing hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified foods, and plant and animal proteins laden with synthetic hormones, antibiotics and pesticides from our food supply is an intelligible place to start. And by all means support companies such as Organic Valley Family of Farms that are willing to take the high road and produce quality products free from these disease-causing ingredients.